Warning! Spoilers for the Game of Thrones series finale lie ahead!
Williams had every right to hide away from social media on Monday, as much of the main cast did. The Game of Thrones fandom is notoriously outspoken and harsh, and the series finale was no exception. Still, Williams logged on first thing in the morning, boldly facing the world's reaction in the form of memes.
Fans gave Williams what she asked for, and perhaps more than she bargained for. Within hours, she had thousands of replies to her tweet. Fans sent images mocking the final season, finding issues with its logic and generally skewering the writing. It is no secret that many feel the last two seasons of the show were rushed, and therefore the conclusions were not given enough time to make sense.
In fairness, Williams may have felt comfortable sending her tweet because she was relatively safe from derision. Arya Stark's storyline in the last season was given a lot of screen time, and there were few complaints about it, at least from her followers. Elsewhere online, many joked that Arya's voyage overseas at the end of the show had strong colonialist connotations.
Some fans ignored Williams' call for memes and responded with heartfelt messages about how her work has impacted them. For better or worse, Game of Thrones is the TV event of the decade, and fans were emotional about its big conclusion.
ARYA THE EXPLORER pic.twitter.com/6iMolqVLgm— Alberto Aniorte (@AlbertoAniorte) May 20, 2019
"From the moment I first saw you in [Game Of Thrones] to the moment you shed your final tear you have been my favourite character," one fan wrote to Williams. "You've brought me joy, anxiety, laughter and heartache. But now my watch has ended and I will never forget you."
In the end, Arya Stark did not find herself at home anywhere in the Seven Kingdoms, and she sailed west into the great unknown, "where the maps end." In many ways, this evoked the ending of Lord of the Rings, when Bilbo and Frodo Baggins sailed off with the elves. However, Martin has confirmed that his fictional world is round, so we know for sure that Arya will wind up in the far east, where magic and adventure await.
Next weekend, HBO will air a feature-length documentary on the making of Season 8 titled Game of Thrones: The Last Watch in the place of the series. It airs Sunday at 9 p.m. ET. The next novel in the series is expected soon, although no release date has been announced yet.